Smart Wires named to Inc. 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Companies

Inc. Magazine Names Smart Wires to Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies – the Inc. 5000

August 12, 2020

Inc. magazine revealed that Smart Wires is number 614 on its annual Inc. 5000 list. Smart Wires earned this ranking with a three-year revenue growth rate of 762 percent. This list of America’s most successful private companies first debuted in 1982 and has since become a symbol of entrepreneurial success. 

Microsoft, Dell, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, Patagonia and many other well-known names gained early exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.

“We are honored to be included on the Inc. 5000 List,” said Gregg Rotenberg, Smart Wires CEO. “Our rapid growth is attributed to global leaders in the electric sector embracing our technology to quickly unlock gigawatts of new capacity on their existing grids, by intelligently routing power to travel across underutilized transmission lines.”

“We are proud to partner with electric utilities to accelerate a low-cost path to global decarbonization by dramatically increasing the delivery of electricity through today’s existing power grids.”

“We have lined up over a billion dollars of project opportunities over the next several years where our technology will enable many gigawatts of new renewable energy projects to reach the grid.”

Smart Wires develops and implements innovative technologies that advance the delivery of electricity. With these solutions, electric utilities can maximize transfer capacity on their grids. This is necessary for rapid decarbonization at the lowest cost with the least disruption to communities and the environment.

In addition to being acknowledged by Inc. 5000, the World Economic Forum recognized Smart Wires as a 2020 Technology Pioneer and SmartValve™ technology as one of the energy sector’s most influential innovations of the last decade.

Further Information

The companies on the 2020 Inc. 5000 have been very competitive within their markets, and the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared with prior lists. The 2020 Inc. 5000 achieved an incredible three-year average growth of over 500 percent, and a median rate of 165 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $209 billion in 2019, accounting for over 1 million jobs over the past three years. 

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

“We are proud to partner with electric utilities to accelerate a low-cost path to global decarbonization by dramatically increasing the delivery of electricity through today’s existing power grids.”

Gregg Rotenberg

Chief Executive Officer

About Inc. Media

The world’s most trusted business-media brand, Inc. offers entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, connections, and community to build great companies. Its award-winning multiplatform content reaches more than 50 million people each month across a variety of channels including websites, newsletters, social media, podcasts, and print. Its prestigious Inc. 5000 list, produced every year since 1982, analyzes company data to recognize the fastest-growing privately held businesses in the United States. The global recognition that comes with inclusion in the 5000 gives the founders of the best businesses an opportunity to engage with an exclusive community of their peers, and the credibility that helps them drive sales and recruit talent. The associated Inc. 5000 Conference is part of a highly acclaimed portfolio of bespoke events produced by Inc. For more information, visit www.inc.com.

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Amprion and Smart Wires are testing more flexible power flow control on the power grid

Amprion and Smart Wires are testing more flexible power flow control on the power grid

August 05, 2020

The Dortmund-based transmission system operator (TSO) Amprion has signed a cooperation agreement with the US Silicon Valley company, Smart Wires, for a pilot project. The aim is to increase the transmission capacity of the power grid while maintaining the high level of system stability.

The partners are starting the project, which consists of three phases, with the goal of using a mobile modular static-synchronous series compensator (mSSSC) from Smart Wires in the Amprion grid. The “SmartValve” is designed to ensure power lines are more fully utilized.

“We see this innovative technology as having the potential to allow us to use the network more efficiently and reduce the need for redispatch,” says Dr. Klaus Kleinekorte, CTO at Amprion. The cost of redispatch in Germany has risen to over a billion euros in recent years and is burdening electricity customers.  

The SmartValve can relieve constrained lines by actively changing the power flows. This allows the transmission network to be better controlled and to minimize redispatch of generation arising from network bottlenecks. The device has a modular structure allowing it to be easily transported and flexibly used at different locations. The new technology thus complements conventional phase shifter transformers (PST), and can also support the system from a stability perspective. 

In order to continue to guarantee the stability of the power grid as the energy transition proceeds, Amprion is already using various innovative technologies such as the PST or reactive power compensation systems such as STATCOM.

“We are thrilled to work with Amprion as one of the world’s most respected TSOs. It is very exciting to see our technology adopted in the country that has shown so much leadership in the energy transition”, said Gregg Rotenberg, CEO of Smart Wires.

“Our commitment to this partnership is reflected in the amazing team we have built in Europe and Germany in particular.”

Amprion and Smart Wires expect the project to run for two to three years to demonstrate the value of the new technology on the grid.

“We see this innovative technology as having the potential to allow us to use the network more efficiently and reduce the need for redispatch”

Dr. Klaus Kleinekorte

CTO at Amprion

Amprion

Amprion GmbH is a leading transmission system operator in Europe. Through our 11,000 kilometre extra-high voltage grid we transport electricity for more than 29 million people in an area stretching from the North Sea to the Alps. As an innovative service provider, Amprion offers industrial customers and grid partners maximum supply security. With our approximately 2,000 employees, we ensure that our grid, with voltage levels of 380,000 and 220,000 volts, is available to all players in the electricity market on a non-discriminatory basis and at market-driven and transparent conditions. In addition, Amprion is responsible for the coordination of interconnected operations in Germany and in the northern part of the European extra-high voltage grid.

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Accelerating the Energy Transition in Germany: Industry Leaders Discuss the Opportunities Offered by Innovation and Grid Optimization

Accelerating the Energy Transition in Germany:

Industry Leaders Discuss the Opportunities Offered by Innovation and Grid Optimization

July 15, 2020

Berlin, Germany – The German transmission grid needs to quickly and significantly increase its transfer capacity to successfully manage an increasing level of renewables and deliver on the Clean Energy package. German transmission system operators (TSOs) have ambitious network development plans to reduce congestion costs and facilitate the energy transition. 

German TSOs are seeking flexible and innovative solutions that can ‘buy time’ as many network expansion efforts are suffering delays due to community concerns and lengthy permitting.

To learn about the valuable time and flexibility offered by grid optimization technologies, hundreds of people joined a virtual colloquium hosted by the Research Group on Energy (FGE) at RWTH Aachen. The meeting launched a recent study completed by Professor Moser and his team and featured leaders from across the European energy industry.

“Optimization of the grid is a no-regrets option,” stated Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope in his speech at the event. “It is very important that we are having this discussion about grid optimization technologies, how to make the most out of today’s existing networks and try to minimize how much we may have to spend from now until 2050,” he continued.

This view was shared by Dr. Stefan Mischinger, Head of Power Networks at the German Energy Agency, DENA, “The National Development Plan’s NOVA principle says grid optimization before reinforcement or expansion. We need to reinforce this principle.”

Transmission owners National Grid Electricity Transmission (UK) and Amprion (Germany) discussed their approach to embracing innovation and investing in a flexible network.

This year, National Grid Electricity Transmission is proceeding with five installations of Smart Wires technology at three substations. “I met the CEO of Smart Wires in 2015 and saw a huge potential. We found a way to start innovating and sharing ideas,” reflected David Wright, Director of Electricity Transmission and Chief Electricity Engineer.

Bartosz Rusek, Amprion’s Manager of System Network Analysis, noted Amprion’s long history of embracing innovation, “we pioneered DC links for the grid, developed new innovative towers, and introduced partial cabling. I recognize the flexibility offered by solutions like Smart Wires and am open to collaborating to bring this next phase of innovation to the German grid.”

These leaders were reacting to study results presented by Dr. Annika Klettke, study lead at RWTH Aachen. Dr. Klettke described how the modular characteristics of Smart Wires’ SSSC (static synchronous series compensators) offers substantial value in reducing redispatch, lowering congestion costs and enabling more renewables to connect quickly.

The study explored the system impacts of replacing the ‘ad-hoc’ PSTs (phase shifting transformers) contained in the German Network Development Plan with modular SSSCs. The study found that modular SSSCs provide double the benefits of PSTs in terms of lowering system congestion and reducing renewable dispatch.

These benefits were possible because of the modularity and flexibility of the SSSCs. These characteristics allow TOs to install the solution quickly, scale the deployments, and relocate the devices as necessary. If other benefits like easier, faster delivery are considered the benefits would be even larger.

Reflecting on the conversation that unfolded, Gregg Rotenberg, Smart Wires CEO said, “These industry leaders understand the value that flexible investments offer – buying time by materially reducing congestion and carbon emissions while we wait for ‘big bets’ like HVDC come into service and ensuring these large investments are fully utilized. Germany is already considered a global leader in the energy transition, and by quickly adopting flexible solutions, they can show the world how earlier reductions in carbon can have an outsized impact on our ability to affordably mitigate climate change.”

Summary of Study

Germany has ambitions renewables and climate targets and plans major changes to its power system in the coming years. Today, the German grid is highly constrained – congestion cost consumers €1.2 billion in 2019. German transmission system operators (TSOs) have ambitious network development plans to reduce congestion costs and facilitate the energy transition.

Where long-term network expansion efforts are delayed, proven technology can optimize the network in the near term. The German Network Development Plan includes several PSTs (phase shifting transformers) in the next few years. Since many network expansion efforts face delays, these projects are designed to help TSOs ‘buy time’ and increase transfer capacity by maximizing the use of the existing grid.

The Institute of Power Systems and Power Economics (IAEW) at RWTH Aachen University conducted a study to analyze the advantages offered by modular power flow control in the form of m-SSSCs (modular static synchronous series compensators).

“Optimization of the grid is a no-regrets option.”

Giles Dickson

CEO, WindEurope

The study found that compared to PSTs with the same capacity, m-SSSCs could provide double the system benefit. These benefits were possible because of the modularity and flexibility of the m-SSSCs. These characteristics allow TSOs to install the solution quickly, scale the deployments, reduce substation space and relocate the devices as necessary.

The study, colloquium presentation and a recording of the webinar are all available here

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General Manager appointed to drive Smart Wires’ expansion in Australia and Asia Pacific region

General Manager appointed to drive expansion in Australia and Asia Pacific

July 13, 2020

Global power technology company, Smart Wires, today announced the appointment of a dedicated General Manager, APAC (Asia Pacific), signaling the company’s expansion in the region.

Aidan Lawlor will be based in Australia, and oversee the company’s business operations in Australia, Asia and Oceania.

“The energy industry in the Asia Pacific region, and in Australia in particular, is at a hugely exciting point in history,” said Smart Wires’ Vice President of Business Development, Europe and Australia, Marie Hayden.

“Within a few short years we have seen an incredible shift in this region around integrating more renewables,” she said.

“The commitment to change and innovation we are seeing from the Australian government, utilities and regulators is very encouraging. We have developed strong collaborative partnerships with these groups and see great potential for business growth, which is a win for Australian utilities and consumers alike.

“Smart Wires is passionate about facilitating the growth of renewable energy in Australia, and the next few months will see us making some major project announcements in this regard. This is the perfect time to grow our capability in Australia and we are delighted to add Aidan’s outstanding leadership and experience to our team here,” Ms. Hayden said.

Smart Wires develops and implements modular power flow control technology that enables electricity utilities to maximize transfer capacity on their existing networks. This means utilities can reduce constraints and increase the amount of renewables able to connect.

According to Mr. Lawlor, “Smart Wires’ reason for being is to develop technologies that deliver greater grid efficiencies and a greener planet, and that aligns strongly with my own personal values.”

“There is real potential for Australia to significantly increase its uptake of renewables, and play a major role in the global energy transition,” he said.

“Within a few short years we have seen an incredible shift in this region around integrating more renewables”

Marie Hayden

Vice President of Business Development, Europe and Australia

Mr. Lawlor has significant experience in the global energy industry, working in both Australia and Europe for more than 20 years. He is returning to Australia to take up the role of General Manager, APAC, after several years in Europe.

Prior to joining Smart Wires, Mr. Lawlor was Head of Customers and Stakeholders for Ireland’s national transmission system operator, EirGrid; and prior to that EirGrid’s Head of Program Delivery.

In Australia, he worked with Queensland’s transmission network service provider, Powerlink, for almost 10 years, where he held senior management and project delivery roles until his departure for Ireland in 2016.

“Aidan’s wealth of experience in both the Australian and international energy industries will be invaluable to Smart Wires as we enter a period of significant growth in Australia,” Ms. Hayden said.

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World Economic Forum Selects Smart Wires as a Technology Pioneer

World Economic Forum Selects Smart Wires as a Technology Pioneer

June 16, 2020

The World Economic Forum has included Smart Wires in the small group of companies it identified as Technology Pioneers in 2020. This recognizes that Smart Wires is one of the world’s top technology companies and is poised to have a significant impact on business and society. Smart Wires develops and implements technologies that accelerates a low-cost path to global decarbonization by dramatically increasing the delivery of electricity through existing power grids.

“We’re excited to welcome Smart Wires to our 20th cohort of Technology Pioneers,” says Susan Nesbitt, Head of the Global Innovators Community, World Economic Forum. “Smart Wires and its fellow pioneers are developing cutting edge technologies all over the world. Beyond their innovations, these firms are contributing greatly to improving the state of the world.”

“We are proud and humbled to be recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum,” said Smart Wires CEO, Gregg Rotenberg. “This is probably the world’s top honor for a company that has graduated from the early growth stages and is now making a major global impact. The Forum’s track-record in quickly identifying companies that will change their industries is breath-taking and we are so proud to join companies like Google, Twitter and Spotify as Technology Pioneers.”   

“I believe that within ten years, all major power grids will be operated by modern power flow technology. We will move from a grid managed mostly with steel and copper solutions, to a grid managed mostly by semi-conductors and software. This “digital grid” will enable much more rapid decarbonization with lower costs and less disruption to communities and the environment. We are committed to collaborating with utilities to quickly and affordably achieve the energy transition,” he added.

Following its selection as a 2020 Technology Pioneer, Smart Wires will be invited to contribute to Forum activities, events and discussions over the next two years, working with policymakers and private sector leaders to help define the global agenda on key issues.

“This is probably the world’s top honor for a company that has graduated from the early growth stages and is now making a major global impact"

Gregg Rotenberg

Chief Executive Officer

More Information

The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers are shaping a wide range of industries. These leading companies are involved in the design, development and deployment of new technologies and innovations, and are poised to have a significant impact on business and society.

Technology Pioneers are selected based on their innovation, impact, leadership and relevance with the World Economic Forum’s Platforms.

2020 Tech Pioneer firms are advancing technologies such as AI, IoT, robotics, blockchain, biotechnology and many more. The full list of this year’s Technology Pioneers can be found here.

More information on past winners and information on the community is available here.

About World Economic Forum: The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

About the Global Innovators: The Global Innovators Community is a group of the world’s most promising start-ups and scale-ups that are at the forefront of technological and business model innovation. The World Economic Forum provides the Global Innovators Community with a platform to engage with public- and private-sector leaders and to contribute new solutions to overcome current crises and build future resiliency.

Companies who are invited to become Global Innovators will engage with one or more of the Forum’s Platforms, as relevant, to help define the global agenda on key issues.

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CEO STATEMENT: Supporting our staff, customers and communities through COVID-19

CEO Statement: Supporting our staff, customers and communities through COVID-19

May 18, 2020

First and foremost, Smart Wires extends a sincere “thank you” to all frontline healthcare workers who risk their own wellbeing every day. We are forever grateful for your relentless efforts to save lives.

We realize heroes also work outside the walls of hospitals. To those who work in food and goods, public transport, safety and security, education, and other key public services, thank you for ensuring our lives can continue as safely and easily as possible in these unchartered times. You each make selfless and critical contributions, so millions of people can stay safe at home. We salute you all.

I would also like to personally acknowledge our industry partners and customers, who day in and day out ensure the world has a constant and reliable supply of electricity. The criticality of this service is paramount as the world grapples with COVID-19. While the importance of powering hospitals and emergency equipment goes without saying, delivering this same reliability of supply to households is now just as crucial. This enables us to work, school and socialize from home, keeping our communities safe and healthy.

At Smart Wires, adapting to change and creating innovative solutions to solve critical challenges is part of our DNA. Our response to COVID-19 is no different.

Underpinned by our Guiding Principle ‘Safety’, Smart Wires’ response is fundamentally focused on the wellbeing of our employees and their families, and on our customers and their communities throughout the world.

While keeping everyone safe, we are proud to say our business continuity, production and commitment to improving global electric grids remain unchanged.

Ongoing support

The uninterrupted supply of electricity is essential to all of us during this crisis. We are inspired by our utility customers and are proud to support these vital organizations during these uncertain times.

In tandem, we are working with each of our customers to find innovative solutions to the new challenges COVID-19 is presenting to their business.

We continue to monitor the evolving situation and comply strictly with health orders and guidance issued by national health authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO). We’re also in touch with our utility customers to ensure we comply with their individual onsite safety procedures, ready for the time when travel can recommence.

Business as usual

Despite different working conditions, we continue to fulfil our operational commitments to our customers. In fact, the lead time for production and deployment of our technology remains largely unaffected.

In the midst of the pandemic we have continued to safely and responsibly deploy our products around the world.

We have strict procedures in place to ensure essential workers can continue to safely work onsite at our facilities in California and Florida. These procedures comply with official health orders and guidance and ensure we maintain critical operational and business functions. The remainder of our global employees work as normal, from the safety of their homes.

We look forward to the brighter days ahead and reconnecting in person with our much loved staff, customers and industry colleagues.

Wishing you all good health,

Gregg Rotenberg

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Renowned European Energy Industry Leader Joins Smart Wires

Renowned European Energy Industry Leader Joins Smart Wires

March 17, 2020

Dr. Susanne Nies joins as General Manager, Germany, to assist company’s further expansion into European market.

Global power technology company, Smart Wires, today announced the hiring of renowned European energy industry leader, Dr. Susanne Nies.

Dr. Nies joins Smart Wires as General Manager, Germany, and will be based in Berlin.

As one of Europe’s leading energy figures, Dr. Nies brings with her vast experience which will assist the company as it expands further into the European market.

“The European energy industry is at a real turning point,” said Smart Wires’ Managing Director of Europe, Michael Walsh.

“With the EU’s new Green Deal policy, and the significant green energy targets many European governments have announced, Europe is leading the world in this area. We’re on the cusp of seeing real change and a material shift in progress towards achieving the energy transition,” he said.

“As a major figure in the energy industry, Susanne’s arrival at Smart Wires significantly bolsters our presence in the European market, as we work to help utilities reduce constraints that limit the flow of clean power through the existing grid. This will help society accelerate decarbonization and achieve our clean energy targets,” he said.

On her decision to join Smart Wires, Dr. Nies said: “I have been watching Smart Wires with great interest for years now. The company’s technology is truly innovative, and represents game-changing solutions for the global energy industry,” she said.

Prior to joining Smart Wires, Dr. Nies led ENTSO-E’s (European Network of Transmission System Operators) Strategy, Research and Communication team, where her responsibilities included ensuring broad strategic alignment of European TSOs, leading the regulatory benchmarking of TSOs, developing the TSO-DSO interaction strategy, and managing stakeholder relationships.

She has also worked for EURELECTRIC (European power sector association) heading the DSOs department, Energy Policy department and Power Generation department; the French Think Tank IFRI, based in Paris; in French and German universities; and the German Heinrich Boell Foundation.

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The challenges and opportunities facing Ireland’s energy industry

The challenges and opportunities facing Ireland’s energy industry

January 27, 2020

A group of leading figures from Ireland’s energy industry came together to discuss the country’s energy transition issues and current business landscape.

Hosted by pioneering power technology company, Smart Wires, guests included representatives from Enterprise Ireland, ESB, IDA, Irish Wind Energy Association, SuperNode, SSE, SEAI and UCD.

The discussion took place against the backdrop of the EU-funded Horizon 2020 Flexitranstore project – guests had the opportunity to view and tour Smart Wires’ revolutionary mobile power flow control unit, as it travels from the USA on its way to deployment on the Greek Transmission System.

Commencing proceedings, Smart Wires’ European Managing Director, Michael Walsh, asked the group about the industry issues keeping them awake at night, challenges to overcome, and progress they see being made.

Grid capacity and access was unsurprisingly a key focus of discussion.

For Noel Cunniffe from the Irish Wind Energy Association, grid capacity, public acceptance, and government policy are the key issues facing the wind industry. IWEA see a divergence between public policy and bringing renewables on to the grid that needs to be addressed.

Noel Cunniffe, IWEA

“Many of our new wind farm connections have non-firm access, due to grid capacity limitations. Congestion is a big issue which may prevent new wind farm connections and is constraining the output of existing wind farms. “If we’re to meet the Government’s renewable electricity target of 70% by 2030, technology companies such as Smart Wires working in partnership with System Operators could be a win-win for everyone.”

Jane McArdle from SSE Airtricity manages similar challenges with regard to constraints.

Jane McArdle, SSE Airtricity

“We can be granted access for a wind farm, only to find that shortly after we connect we’re constrained for three months. This technology is an obvious solution to reduce constraints, particularly when connecting new generation.”

John Fitzgerald, CEO of SuperNode, sees similarities between the challenges facing the Irish industry with those facing the rest of Europe.  In this role he regularly meets with European stakeholders such as utilities, ENTSO-E, Eurelectric etc., and discusses the challenges of the future grid.  They all see the need for increased levels of flexibility at transmission and distribution, and with generation and supply.  John sees the pace of change as another industry challenge – technology is often evolving at a faster pace than policy, leading to suboptimal decision making.

John Fitzgerald, SuperNode

“The key challenge as we move toward the future grid is flexibility. It’s a big problem so there is huge scope for solutions – both technology and policy.”

Referring to his role in assessing and working with EU-funded projects at Enterprise Ireland, Philip Cheasty made the point that these funding initiatives provide a great opportunity for the industry at large.

Philip Cheasty, Enterprise Island

“Ireland is very strong in the area of energy related EU-funded projects. If it is something you already want to develop, this mechanism can be the ideal vehicle for moving a project on.”

Michael Walsh, Smart Wires

“Smart Wires’ positive experience with EU funded projects has certainly given our US management the appetite to locate even more high value work in Ireland and Europe.”

Rounding out the discussion, Charlie O’Donoghue from IDA Ireland made the point that solving issues of constraint and capacity impacts the wider business environment.

Charlie O’Donoghue, IDA Ireland

“Understanding the opportunities and possible solutions to alleviating congestion is important for all of us – for example, this will help the IDA when speaking with data centre owners looking to locate to Ireland.”

Smart Wires greatly appreciates the time these industry leaders gave, and the opportunity to discuss such important issues.

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